Brokers discuss the importance of the human touch and service
The relationship between brokers and lenders can, at times, be tested, particularly during periods of market wide upheaval.
With this in mind, Mortgage Introducer reached out to several brokers to understand what aspects of lenders’ service at present they would like to see improved upon and the benefit of this for advisers.
Charles Breen (pictured), founder and director at Montgomery Financial, said over the past three years, it has been a very tumultuous market, and while lenders have made strides in embracing technology and remote work, he believed some aspects of the role needed a more human touch.
“In the past couple of years, more and more lenders have moved away from dedicated business development managers (BDMs), to being more reliant on broker chat to communicate and make enquires,” he said.
Breen added that this is all well and good until you need to tease out a complex case to see if it will fit the lender’s criteria.
“As with our customers, our experience with a lender is very relationship-based, and vicariously our client’s experience is the same with the lender,” Breen said.
So, he said that the importance of having a dedicated BDM when you need help with a case, or to push one over the line, cannot be understated.
If you have a complex case, or one that is time sensitive, Breen said an adviser will place the case with the lender they have a good relationship with, as they know if there are issues they can pick up the phone and get the help their customer needs.
Lack of lending options
Kundan Bhaduri, property developer and portfolio landlord at The Kushman Group, believes that lenders need to ‘start walking the talk’.
“Many lenders, even today, still offer a one-size-fits-all approach; a lack of tailored lending products can limit landlords’ choices,” he said.
Bhaduri added that brokers thrive when they can provide clients with a wide range of lending options that align with their specific goals and financial situations.
Eye gouging product fees, he said, are also something we have been seeing over the last several months since the ‘Kamikaze mini budget’.
Improving lender services in the buy-to-let market, Bhaduri said, is essential for the growth and sustainability of our industry.
“Streamlining application processes, enhancing communication and transparency, offering flexible lending products, and providing competitive rates is pivotal,” he added.
Imogen Sporle, managing director at Finanze, would like to see lenders improve on their service level agreements and keep on top of cases post offer.
“I feel these areas need improvement as the assessment times can be so high that although the client had initially come to refinance with ample time before completion, they end up being behind schedule based on the lender taking so long to get the case to completion,” she said.
In some circumstances, Sporle said this means the client has to take a last minute bridge just to complete in time.
Additionally, she said, once a case goes to offer, some lenders just ‘forget about it’ and do not respond to the solicitors in a timely manner or with the appropriate responses, causing further delays and frustration for all parties.
“If the above are rectified this would benefit brokers and clients, meaning mortgages can be completed quicker and a smoother process all the way to completion,” Sporle said.
What do you believe lenders could improve upon at present? Let us know in the comment section below.